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Too Big to Fail: The Hazards of Bank Bailouts Hardcover – February 29, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (February 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815781520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815781523
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,627,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a valuable and comprehensive treatise on TBTF, a critically important policy issue that needs to be addressed well before another banking or financial crisis occurs. Policymakers, regulators, government officials, legislators, and private financial companies should read and heed the authors' analysis and recommendations." —Richard M. Kovacevich, Chairman, Wells Fargo



"This book should be required reading for all policy makers. Highly recommended." —R J Phillips, Choice



"This short book lucidly explains the moral hazard problem that plagues large financial institutions policymakers deem too big to fail...[it] contains something of interest for everyone." —Peter T. Leeson, George Mason University, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization



"In this clearly prophetic book, Gary H. Stern and Ron J. Feldman examine the "too big to fail" doctrine, and show how policymakers made the financial system riskier by implicitly promising to bail out the biggest banking institutions. This book is recommended reading for anyone seriously interested in understanding the calculus of financial policymakers, financial system risk, and the tilted playing field that benefits huge, risky banks and their shareholders." — getAbstract



"Stern and Feldman have written an important book on the too-big-to-fail problem....This book deserves to be widely read in the banking regulation and supervisory world." —Frederic Mishkin, Journal of Economic Literature

About the Author

Gary H. Stern is president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Ron Feldman is senior vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Paul A. Volcker was chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bayou Boy on May 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a 35 year banker (and loan officer) I have seen and survived the dark days of 1985-1992 when the banking industry was on the edge.

Penn Square as the harbringer of disaster and the impact on the industry was a rude awakening.

Thus, the spectre of TBTF; particularly as more banks continue to grow and we now have trillion dollar financial institutions.

This book covers TBTF with outstanding analysis. In fact, it should be required reading for government, regulators, and bankers (certainly senior management and boards),

An awesome book.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael Emmett Brady on May 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Stern and Feldman(SF) do a good job in demonstrating the complete idiocy of deregulating and privatizing the commercial banking industry ,specifically, and the financial sector ,in general ,starting with the Carter administration in 1979 and continuing through all Democratic and Republican administrations through 2008,at a time when the size of the average firm in the industry was getting larger and larger.

SF are absolutely correct that the 1991 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act(FDICIA)did not improve bank regulation substantially and make the too big to fail problem less severe.Ben Bernanke's(coordinated with the financial actions of the other 7 major central banks) 1 trillion dollar bailout ,starting in late August,2007 and continuing through May,2008,of Wall Street and the commercial banking system is just the latest additional piece of evidence that the problem of banker speculation,which has been recognized for thousands of years,is fundamental.
I have subtracted one star because the authors appear to have no idea that Adam Smith went over this problem in detail on pp.290-340 of The Wealth of Nations(1776,Modern Library (Cannan)edition).Smith's discussion is a modern,updated analysis of the standard Catholic(Medieval Church)position concerning banking,loans,the rate of interest,usury laws,and speculation.Smith shows clearly that the banks prefer to make loans available to projectors(Keynes's stock and financial market speculators and rentiers) because of the apparent high short run rate of return on such loans.The long run consequences,which impose immense negative externality and spillover impacts on people worldwide , are ignored.Nothing has changed since Smith wrote his masterpiece over 230 years ago.Securitization is a code word for speculation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
In this clearly prophetic book, Gary H. Stern and Ron J. Feldman examine the "too big to fail" doctrine, and show how policymakers made the financial system riskier by implicitly promising to bail out the biggest banking institutions. In the wake of the global financial crisis in which several major institutions failed in 2008, getAbstract welcomes this reissued, lucid assessment of one of the most perplexing, perverse policies in financial regulation, the idea that some institutions are too big to fail. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker's foreword helps sharpen the book's focus, and the authors' advocacy for an end to bailouts is quite persuasive. This book is recommended reading for anyone seriously interested in understanding the calculus of financial policymakers, financial system risk, and the tilted playing field that benefits huge, risky banks and their shareholders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth C. Basilio on February 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is fundamentally a psychological interpretation of the relevance of the variable Too Big To Fail
(TBTF) on the interactions of policymakers and the banking system. Although the authors do not stress their analysis as a psychological approach their analysis as a psychological approach is a compelling example of a Skinnerian analysis of reinforcements contingencies. It provides a compelling analysis about the causes and effects on TBTF. on both the national and international economies. It recommends essentially a carefully controlled use of incentives and to a lessor extent punishment to reduce both the need for and expectations of TBTF. The contrast between the recommendations of Stern & Feldman in 1994 and the present state off fiscal chaos through contiguous extremes of reward and punishment exerted upon the market by policymakers defies the shaping of not only rational behavior but lends credence to the claim of a "manic depressive market" and why.
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